UPDATED: Kanye West took a break from tweeting to stop by TMZ’s Los Angeles, Calif. newsroom and share his opinion that slavery was a “choice.”
During a conversation on “TMZ Live” with Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere, West said, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word ‘prison’ because ‘slavery’ goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”
West also further explained his support of President Donald Trump on the show after tweeting a picture last week of him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
“I just love Trump,” West said. “That’s my boy. Like so many rappers—you’ll look at a video of Snoop Dogg loving Trump but then he get in the office and now they don’t want to love him.”
“Trump is one of rap’s favorite people,” he concluded.
After Latibeaudiere jumped in to say that hip-hop artists have featured Trump in their music, West added, “By the way, I am in hip-hop but I’m not just in hip-hop. I’m a black person, black community, but I’m not just that.”
He continued, “I feel like one thing is people try to minimize me to artist, hip-hop, black community—yeah I’m always going to represent that. But, I also represent the world.”
He said that his recent tweeting frenzy is a result of him thinking and feeling freely. “We don’t know how to think for ourselves,” West explained. “We don’t know how to feel for ourselves. People say, ‘Feel free,’ but they don’t really want us to feel free. I felt a freedom and first of all just doing something that everyone tells you not to do.”
West said that society is “mentally in a prison” and that he prefers to use the word prison “because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks.” He compared the relationship between slavery and blacks to Holocaust and Jewish people. “Prison is something that unites us as one race—blacks and whites being one race. That we’re the human race.”
After West’s offensive comments he asked the newsroom, “Do you feel that I’m feeling, being free and thinking free?”
TMZ reporter Van Lathan responded, saying he is “disappointed” and “appalled” by West’s recent behavior.
Jimmy Kimmel also weighed in on West’s strange appearance. He tweeted, “What @kanyewest is doing and saying right now on @TMZLive is so wild, @HarveyLevinTMZ put his cup down.”
The video ends with West approached Lathan saying, “Bro, I’m sorry I hurt you.”
West later tried to clarify his comments on Twitter, writing, “Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.”
“My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved,” he went on. “They cut out our tongues so we couldn’t communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut.”
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